By: TFSP On: November 10, 2023 In: Article Comments: 0

So you’re thinking of installing timber floorboards in your home.? Ah! Excellent choice!

Timber flooring instantly transforms any space, adding warmth, character, and value to your property. But before you dive in, it’s essential to understand precisely what you’re getting yourself into cost-wise.

Timber floor installation Melbourne isn’t cheap, but the good news is the investment is worth it if you choose a high-quality product and it’s done correctly.

By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear picture of how much that gorgeous new timber floor will set you back. But don’t worry; while the initial outlay may be significant, timber floors save you money in the long run.

Material Costs: Solid Hardwood vs.Engineered Timber

Solid hardwood flooring is gorgeous but expensive. Engineered timber, made from real wood veneers over manufactured boards, costs less.

For a typical 300 square foot living room, you can expect to pay:

Material Costs: Solid Hardwood vs. Engineered Timber

Solid hardwood:

$10-$16 per square foot. Popular choices like oak, maple or hickory will be on the higher end of that range. Exotic woods can cost $20 per square foot or more. For 300 square feet, you’re looking at $3,000-$4,800 total.

Engineered wood:

$3-$10 per square foot. This includes oak, acacia, ash or hickory. Bamboo and cork, also considered engineered woods, cost $3-$6 per square foot. For 300 square feet, you can budget $900-$3,000 total.

As you can see, engineered timber can save you 50-70% on materials versus solid hardwood. The veneer layer on engineered planks is real wood, so the look and feel remain authentic. Engineered wood is also more dimensionally stable, so it handles changes in heat and humidity better than solid hardwood.

Ultimately, you must weigh your budget versus your desire for exotic, premium solid wood flooring. Engineered timber gives you the beauty of real wood at a fraction of the cost. For many, it’s the perfect compromise. Your wallet and your living room will both thank you.

Labour Costs: Hiring a Professional Installer

Installing timber flooring yourself can be difficult and time-consuming. For most homeowners, hiring a professional installer is worth the investment.

Labour costs vary but typically range from $3 to $8 per square foot. The total cost will depend on several factors:

  • The type of wood you choose. Exotic hardwoods or reclaimed. Wood, for example, often requires more skill and time to install, driving labour costs up. Standard oak or pine are more straightforward and cost less.
  • The condition of your subfloor. If repairs or levelling are needed, that adds to the total labour hours. Installing over concrete also tends to cost more than wood or plywood subfloors.
  • The installation method. Nail- or staple-down floors take less time than glue-down floors. Floating floors, installed without adhesive, fall in the middle.
  • Your location. Labour costs are often higher in big cities and affluent areas. Rural or suburban installers typically charge less per hour.
  • Seasonal factors. Rates may be slightly higher during busy seasons like summer. Off-season or mid-week installations could save you money.

For an accurate estimate, have the installer evaluate your exact job requirements. They can then determine the time needed and provide a fair price based on their rates, while DIY is tempting.

Hiring an expert is the best way to ensure your new timber flooring is installed correctly and built to last. The investment in a professional will pay off through your floor’s lifetime.

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Additional Expenses: Subfloor Preparation, Underlayment, Etc.

Installing timber flooring in your home is an investment, and while the flooring materials can vary in cost, there are additional expenses to keep in mind.

These extra costs, like subfloor preparation and underlayment, are essential for a high-quality finished result.

Subfloor Preparation

The subfloor is the surface under your timber flooring, usually concrete or plywood. It must be clean, dry, and level for the timber to be installed correctly.

Preparing the subfloor may involve:

  • Sanding or grinding down high spots and filling in low spots makes the surface flat.
  • Applying a concrete sealer or moisture barrier for concrete subfloors.
  • Replacing damaged or uneven plywood panels.

Factor in $0.30 to $0.60 per square foot for subfloor preparation. The exact cost will depend on your subfloor type and how much work is needed.


Underlayment is the thin foam, cork, or rubber material installed between the subfloor and timber flooring. It provides insulation, moisture protection, and sound reduction.

Basic underlayment starts at around $0.30 per square foot, while higher-quality, sound-reducing underlayment may cost $0.75 per square foot or more. Additional Supplies

You’ll need extra items like:

  • Wood filler for patching small holes or gaps
  • Trim pieces like baseboards, quarter rounds, and thresholds
  • Spacers or shims for a level installation
  • Flooring straps or boards for securing the first row
  • A moisture meter to check the wood and subfloor
  • Extra tacks, nails, or staples for the nail gun
  • Wood glue for tongue and groove flooring

Factor in $200 to $500 total for these additional supplies, depending on the size of your room.

While the cost of timber flooring materials is often the most significant part of the budget, the additional expenses for a proper installation should not be overlooked.

With some forethought and budgeting for subfloor needs, underlayment, and extra supplies, you’ll have a polished new timber floor you can enjoy for years.

Average Total Costs by Room Size

The total timber floor installation cost in your home will depend on several factors, including the type of timber you choose and the size of the area you want to cover.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for timber floor Installation Melbourne in different room sizes.

Small room (up to 100 square feet)

For a small space like a bathroom, laundry room or walk-in closet, you’ll typically pay between $500 to $1,500 for timber floor installation.

The timber itself may cost $3 to $8 per square foot, depending on the type of wood. Labour costs are usually $3 to $5 per square foot for installation.

Medium room (150 to 300 square feet)

A bedroom, home office or small living room of 150 to 300 square feet will likely cost $1,500 to $3,500 for timber floor installation Melbourne.

The wood can cost $4 to $10 per square foot. Labour will also be on the higher end of the range at $4 to $6 per square foot.

Large room (350 square feet or more)

For bigger rooms like open-concept living rooms, dens and kitchens over 350 square feet, expect to pay $3,500 to $8,000 or more for timber floor installation.

Wood prices will be similar at $4 to $10 per square foot, but labour costs increase to $5 to $8 per square foot due to the more significant time and effort required for installation in a larger space.

Ultimately, the total price can vary quite a bit based on the factors mentioned above, as well as your location and the installers’ experience.

But you can use these guidelines to budget and plan for the cost of installing beautiful new timber floors in your home.

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Ways to Reduce Your Timber Flooring Installation Costs

To keep timber floor installation costs under control, there are a few tricks you can try.

Buy pre-finished boards

Opt for pre-finished timber boards rather than unfinished ones that require sanding and staining on site. Pre-finished boards are ready to install right out of the box, saving time and money.

The factory finish is often higher quality and more durable than a site-applied finish.

Choose a simple pattern.

The more intricate the pattern, the higher the installation cost. Stick to simple designs like parallel strips or basic parquetry rather than herringbone or chevron styles, which require precision cutting and fitting. Simple patterns also tend to be more timeless.

Install it yourself

If you’re reasonably handy, you can install timber flooring to avoid labour fees. Timber flooring comes in tongue-and-groove boards that lock together, making it a DIY-friendly option.

You’ll need tools like a circular saw, hammer, chisel, trowel, and pull bar. Watch online video tutorials to pick up tips before you get started.

Buy Discounted or reclaimed wood.

Check stores for discounted timber like pine or bamboo, which are more budget-friendly. You can also find reclaimed wood boards, which are cheaper and more sustainable.

Reclaimed timber has a rustic, weathered look that many homeowners love.

Reduce Waste

Carefully measure the space before purchasing flooring. Buy 10- 15% extra to account for waste, but avoid purchasing more than needed.

Proper planning will reduce excess cuts and keep costs in check. Any leftover boards can also be used for repairs down the road.

Consider alternative wood types.

Exotic hardwoods like mahogany walnut tend to cost more. Some cheaper, attractive alternatives include oak, maple, ash or hickory.

Bamboo is also an eco-friendly, wallet-friendly choice that looks similar to hardwood.

With some money-saving strategies, you can cut timber flooring installation costs considerably while enjoying the beauty of wood floors in your home.

Keep things simple, do what you can yourself and choose more affordable wood types for the look you want at a lower price point.

Final Verdict,

So there you have it, the complete picture of what to expect when installing timber flooring in your home. Now, you can budget accurately and avoid any surprise expenses popping up down the road.

While timber flooring may require a more significant upfront investment than other flooring options, its timeless beauty and longevity are worth every penny. Your gorgeous new floors will bring you joy for decades to come and increase your home’s value.

What are you waiting for?

Start shopping at your local timber suppliers and flooring contractors for the best deals. Total Floor Sanding Melbourne and Polishing services ensure a seamless and elegant fit, enhancing the aesthetic and value of any space.

Trust us to rejuvenate your floors and make your home or office truly shine!